“Dust to dust and fire to ashes”…

~

Is he asleep…
Or is he awake…
Is this a dream…
And his reality fake…

Nothing makes sense…
His thoughts conflict…
Everything he’s touched…
Has just fallen to bits…

A mental disaster…
All of his making…
His head of confusion…
Leaves him stood shaking…

Afraid of his memories…
Regretting sinful desires…
He knows he’ll end up…
In Hell’s emotional fires…

It’s a one way ticket…
And there is no return…
He will be consumed…
Aware his soul will burn…

He doesn’t know when…
And he doesn’t know where…
So he stumbles through life…
Blinded by his despair…

He’s stuck in a moment…
One fragment of time…
Replayed over and over…
But he can never rewind…

He can’t repair the damage…
Or pretend it’s not real…
All that’s been done…
Time just refuses to heal…

The hand that grabbed her…
By her slender throat…
Till her lifeless body…
Began to silently float…

Now she’s asleep…
And will never awake…
Her never ending dream…
His one big mistake…

~

“There’s no room for emptiness, on a never empty street”…

David Byrne and St Vincent – Symphony Hall Birmingham

So, it felt like I have had to wait forever between gigs. Last time out really was the trip to Hardrock calling in June, so this much anticipated jaunt to Birmingham didn’t come a day too soon. In glorious sunshine, the trip down was pretty uneventful, until I reached the outskirts of the city that is.

It was then that the much talked about tunnel closures in Birmingham city centre began to kick in. Long tail backs and very slow moving traffic prompted a detour from my route. Always exciting when trying to follow the woeful iphone map ap. Not!

I must have done a full circuit of the city before getting close to the hotel and even then it was more luck than judgement! Upon arrival, I just wanted a shower, however the refurb of the hotel meant that the water was off until around 7pm and it seemed easier to dump my stuff and check out the venue.

That was a twofold mission which included trying to get Mr Byrne to sign his page in my “It is as it is” book. There was already a few diehards outside the back of the venue – they had been there a whilst and confirmed Byrne was inside, but so far had not fulfilled a promise to come out to sign.

I chanced my arm round the front of the venue and was pleasantly surprised to see how open the whole thing was. It didn’t take long to figure out where the production team was and after a quick chat with a girl at the door, my book was whisked inside and came back duly signed by the man himself.

db1

Sadly, I didn’t get to meet him, but one out two isn’t bad. The diehards were still waiting when I wandered back around and I did try to steer them towards the other end, but at that point, they wanted to stay put. So I wandered back to the hotel to dump the book and came back to kill time.

By the time my mate had arrived for a catch up, I had begun chatting to two lovely ladies from Manchester, who told me about their wonderful tour bus tales. I love meeting diehards and hearing their tales – different singer or band each time, but the sentiment is the same – love of the artist and the music – it was like talking to Finn Frenz.

This was my first visit to the Symphony Hall and I was struck by how grand it was inside. A world away from some of the venues I have visited on this Forty for Forty quest so far. My seat was side of stage and pretty high up, but it felt like it was a private box with no one in front or behind me.

It took a whilst for it to fill up and the patient audience was treated to the mood setting sounds of a rainforest storm before Byrne’s voice asked the audience not to over use cameras and ipads etc. Both he and St Vincent (Annie Clark) took to the stage to great applause – as you would expect for Byrne, there was lots of love in the room.

At this point, I have to say, wasn’t sure what to expect. I know of Byrne’s music but have never seen him live. I had heard little, if anything of St Vincent. I fully expected a David Byrne show. I didn’t expect an 8 piece brass band and St Vincent to not only play a full part in the night, but to shine like a beacon. (apologies to S.H.1.T / Different…)

Anyway, you will no doubt find real reviews of the show online, but it was clever, arty, full of surprises and a real treat to witness. Launching straight into a cracking track called “Who”, the pair were clearly at ease with each other and the chemistry they had between them was undeniable.

A mixture of new and old tunes were complimented by coordinated semi “dance” routines as the pair took turns in taking the lead on vocals. St Vincent dominated on electric guitar, whilst Byrne alternated with acoustic and electric.

I am not overly keen on brass bands – they tend to lend a sombre touch to proceedings, however in this setting it really worked. There was scant banter between crowd and artists, but the goings on up on the stage kept the polite audience enthralled.

However, it wasn’t until the encore that the audience got up on its feet and that helped the gig notch up a gear. “Burning down the house” proving to be the Talking Heads highlight of a very good night.  That was almost surpassed in the second encore when a couple in fancy dress (rabbit and a crocodile) were invited up on stage to dance for the final song “Road to Nowhere”.

One other cheeky member of the audience managed to sneak on stage too, but was grabbed by security after managing one lap with everyone else. It was a fitting end to the night and one that went far too fast.

I arrived a fan of David Byrne and left with a reinforced admiration of the man and his work. I also left a tad bit in love with St Vincent and totally captivated by both her beauty and talent. Typical man I hear you cry, but what can I say – I’m a sucker for hot guitar playing bottle blond girls !

After the show, I even bumped into a good Frenz! I normally only ever see her at Neil Finn / Crowded House shows, so it was such a lovely surprise and perfect ending to a great night. She had flown over to see both shows (London the night before).

So another memorable night on the Forty for Forty quest is ticked off the list. Next up is a local gig to see Justin Currie from Del Amitri and that will be young Ollie’s first gig outing this year. He is very excited and I will also be on a mission for Currie to sign his page in the “It is as it is” book too!

Anyway, I leave this ramble with a flavour of the night – audience recordings are brilliant – especially when something unexpected happens half way – good on the recorder for keeping going – this is “Optimist” from the CD “Love This Giant”

Enjoy

“And you can bare your soul”…

~

As the beat immerses her soul…
She glides onto the dance floor…
It’s such a perfect disguise…
Like a drug and she craves more…
No one out there knows her…
She’s got total anonymity…
As the music infects her mind…
It’s the only place that she feels free…

It’s her space and her distraction…
When life gets too much to take…
And she needs to forget about them…
All the pain and all the heartache…
The trouble that they caused her…
And all that went before…
The way they gave her bruises…
Some mental and so much more…

They’ve left so many scars…
And such fucking bitter memories…
She can’t escape the nightmares…
But whilst dancing, no one sees…
They only feast upon a sexual vision…
This goddess moving in the dark…
As her stunning body twists and turns…
They’re simply entranced by her spark…

But she chooses not see them…
Lost in a perfect moment of joy…
This is her total and utter escape…
A place no one on Earth can destroy…
It’s a place of pure isolation…
Like a desert island in the sea…
She will just keep on dancing…
Till sunrise brings stark reality…

It gives her space to focus…
Time to plot some form of revenge…
She swears one day they’ll suffer…
Her heart’s destruction she’ll avenge…
As the beat infects her soul…
She plots murder on the dance floor…
One day this picture of elegance…
Will become a Siren, calling ships to shore…

~

“The dreams in which I’m dying, are the best I’ve ever had”…

~

He can’t halt the voices within his head…
Always filling him with fear, hate and dread…
They make him wish he was simply dead…
How did it come to this…

They come and attack at any time…
Sometimes in the day when he’s feeling fine…
At night they haunt, remind him of his crimes…
He looks for an escape…

He’s stood on the edge and looking down…
Gazing upon this bustling town…
His pale and hollow face carries such a frown…
So scared of his next move…

If he takes one step then it’s all over…
He’d forget his problems and dream of clover…
Free his spirit like an Irish rover…
Yet fear freezes up his soul…

His hidden memories come flooding back…
His whole existence is under attack…
His sanity is about to crack…
He needs to end this pain…

He closes his eyes and takes a breath…
The only way to relieve this stress…
His lungs are filled with the scent of death…
His body begins to fall…

His brain is struggling to comprehend…
Thinking of all his so called friends…
But blacking out as he descends…
Too late to stop this now…

The are no angels stood around waiting…
Just a blackness that’s forever extending…
And a sadness that will be never ending…
His pain is still so raw…

Trapped in Hell, his soul’s sentence begins…
Only his cruel and bitter conscience wins…
This suicide did not erase his sins…
A lesson too late to learn…

He couldn’t halt the voices within his head…
Down this path, he was cruelly lead…
He should have listened to his heart instead…
But this world was driving him mad…

~

“She’ll come slowly rising, on the air”…

~

She woke up one morning…
Her head just screamed enough…
Time to make the right decision…
No matter how hard or how tough…

She couldn’t take the beatings…
Or the controlling mental abuse…
The camel’s back was broken…
Last night left her so confused…

She should have seen it coming…
But he promised he had changed…
Said that he was better now…
Yet his anger was so inflamed…

Filled with unrelenting jealousy…
About a man she knew before…
It was all so dim and distant…
But her pleas he did ignore…

Left her cowering in a corner…
Nursing a broke and bloody nose…
His fist the lethal weapon…
Her face the target he chose…

She’s given so many chances…
Swallowed every single lie…
Proved her love many times over…
But now it’s time to say goodbye….

She knows she cannot leave him….
He’d track and hunt her down…
There is only one escape route….
And the knife lays on the ground…

He’s on the sofa sleeping…
She’s stood watching him dream…
In a flash her pent up anger…
Causes him to fucking scream…

The knife is now embedded…
Deep within his cold cold heart…
And the painful realisation…
Now wakes him with a start…

He will cause her pain no longer…
But her freedom comes at a price…
Turning the knife upon herself…
Her wrists she begins to slice…

She woke up that morning…
Her head knew what to do…
She made a tough decision…
Now the angels float into view…

~